Are silkies good for the first timer in the city??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by daddysgirlz, May 15, 2010.

  1. daddysgirlz

    daddysgirlz Out Of The Brooder

    71
    0
    39
    May 15, 2010
    M, WI
    Help...I'm not sure if Silkies are a good choice for a 4 hen flock in the city....they need to be quiet and I chose silkies because I have a bird phobia. I thought the silkies looked more hairy than feathery and I though that might get me over the bird phobia. I love the idea of having chickens and fresh eggs. I have the opportunity to get some silkies this weekend, they are 14 weeks old and not sexed. The guy told me he does not know what sex they are until they start crowing?? So, what? I buy four and may get four roos that I have to give away right away?? Help. Any advice on choosing silkies from a heard of silkies?? Also, Would it be better to buy sexed chicks instead so they are more friendly from being handled by me from the get go?
     
  2. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    i have one silkie who is 2 weeks old, and 4 LF (large foul/regular) girls who are 5 weeks old. i know my silkie is a girl cuz i had her eggshell DNA tested (which u can only do if you actually hatch the silkie). i wouldn't have done that if she had NOT been a silkie. but considering that silkies can take FOREVER to figure out what their sex is, i went ahead and had the shell tested. i am an illegal chicken owner and so i wanted quiet hens too. i've heard that silkies are quiet, BO (buff orpingtons), and EE (easter eggers) owners have said their girls are quiet overall. but there are ALWAYS exceptions. i have 1 BO, 2 EE, 1 Silver Cuckoo Marans and 1 silkie. i was only gonna keep a couple hens, but another illegal person suggested i get more than 2 or 3 simply cuz when they get older, i can give away the loud ones (if there are any....hopefully they'll all be quiet girls since i love them all). i would suggest getting sexed chicks. you can order a small number of chicks from My Pet Chicken (3 - 8 chicks being the minimum order, depending on where you live). i ordered from them and i received 9 chicks, so i gave away 5 of them to a friend. as far as you being afraid of birds.....i don't know what to tell u about that, except that i would try to overcome that if you can. exposing yourself to birds (especially cute fuzzy baby chicks) will actually help you overcome your fear. little chicks won't hurt you, and the more you handle them as babies, the tamer they will be (is tamer a word [​IMG]). chickens can actually make great pets. [​IMG]
    oh, and welcome to BYC! you can learn TONS here! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  3. scarter

    scarter Chillin' With My Peeps

    342
    0
    129
    Aug 22, 2008
    Roberts, WI
    One thing to consider is that if you can only have a few chickens the silkies eggs will be smaller.
     
  4. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    5,411
    19
    251
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oklahoma
    My Coop
    I live in the City and have the following breeds:

    11 Silkies (Definitely the quietest breed I have)

    8 Australorp hens (Very noisy when they lay their eggs)
    1 Lavender Orpington (Crows all day long!) He love to talk

    1 Coronation Split Sussex hen (Very quite hen)
    1 Coronation Split Rooster (Usually very quite, until the Lavender Gets him stirred up)

    So, I would say Silkies are an excellent choice for us City Folk.
     
  5. daddysgirlz

    daddysgirlz Out Of The Brooder

    71
    0
    39
    May 15, 2010
    M, WI
    Thanks...so should I get the silkies tommorrow? or should I order them? The 14 week olds were going to lay eggs much sooner than waiting for July/ August for chicks to come from BYC. Do you know where we can order silkie chicks to get now?
     
  6. Hens4Fun

    Hens4Fun Chillin' With My Peeps

    161
    1
    109
    Nov 18, 2009
    Sacramento, California
    I love my two silkies ... and they are definitely quiet. But I agree with a previous post that if you are only going to have 4 hens and want eggs, they are very small (I use 4 to make the equivalent of two regular eggs). And they are very broody...which means I go weeks at a time when a broody hen doesn't lay. So.. small eggs and fewer eggs .... [​IMG] But dang, they are cute and sweet [​IMG]
     
  7. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    5,411
    19
    251
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oklahoma
    My Coop
    Quote:Jen5680 has some on Auction right now. Pet Quality for $5 and some from her Show Quality Whites for $10
     
  8. Airilith

    Airilith Chillin' With My Peeps

    478
    1
    121
    Sep 28, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    I have a silkie hen and a silkie rooster. Most hatcheries sell day olds unsexed because silkies are so hard to sex. Being as you live in the city I pray you don't end up with a silkie rooster. My boy sounds like some one is killing him everytime he crows. It's absolutely hilarious (and stays so because I don't have neighbors close enough to hear him).

    My hen is very sweet, and very, very quiet. She's only been laying for 12 days, but she's only missing one so far. I couldn't believe it. Now I'm sure that will drop if/when she becomes broody. But I'll love her anyway!

    Quote:Say what!?! How does one do that? I've never even heard of DNA testing an eggshell! How much does it cost? And where do you get it done? I'm sooooo curious!
     
  9. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Chillin' With My Peeps

    776
    4
    143
    May 9, 2008
    Massachusetts
    I have 2 silkie roos and they crow all the day long (all night, too) [​IMG]. I don't know about the hens but I know that they are awfully cute [​IMG]
     
  10. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    Silkies are a great choice for you. I adore my Silkies!
    [​IMG]

    They are difficult to sex, but it is not impossible. It is true that it might take 5-6 mo. to hear a crow and longer to see an egg. HOWEVER, by 14 weeks, experienced silky owners often have pretty good suspicions regarding gender. Last year, I thought I was losing my mind. How could soooo many of my sweet chicks appear so masculine? So much bold behavior & aggression! Well, 13 out of 19 were cockeral. (I had to work some magic to rehome them, because I wanted to be honest about my suspicions...) My very flawed Silkie Sexing technique is to watch them in a group. The roos are just more bold; they fight; they run away from people.
    I would not advise you to buy four from someone who is just gonna bring you a box of four birds. My neighbor got 7 Silkie cockerals & one pullet, recently. They were "only 9 weeks old, " my friend was told and "too young to be sexed." My DD is 16 and has been very into chickens for a few years. She is also a very visual person. Just watching those birds for a few minutes gave her all the info she needed. If my kid can pick out the cockerals, I bet your farmer-guy can, too.
    You need a pullet/hen guarantee????? Either buy sexed chicks of standard breeds or buy grown Silkie hens! I will tell you that my Dominiques and Andalusians are very quiet and have gret personalities. My Phoenix hen is a SCREAMER. My turken hen is loud, too.

    Good luck with this! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by